Samsung has made an unexpected change in its highly successful electronics group, shuffling its chief executive into a group strategy role at a time when it is battling for market dominance with chief rival Apple.
The firm named Kwon Oh-hyun, the former head of its components business as the new chief executive of Samsung Electronics, with former chief Choi Gee-Sung assuming a new role as head of its group corporate strategy office.
Samsung is reported to be making the changes in advance of anticipated global economic turmoil, resulting from the Eurozone crisis, according to The Korean Times.
“The new secretary is an ideal figure to help Samsung overcome the current economic uncertainties and cope with uphill competition from rivals,” a company representative is quoted as saying.
Under Choi, Samsung Electronics has become a global powerhouse in consumer electronics, helping the firm become a major player in the smartphone market.
Kwon meanwhile is widely credited with helping the firm expand in to the profitable mobile semiconductor sector.
The main challenge for Choi will be to continue the units success by continuing to innovate, according to Francisco Jeronimo, an analyst with market watchers IDC.
"It's much easier for companies to be innovative and take risks when they're not the market leader," he told V3.
Choi's other main challenge would likely be seeing off competition from Chinese rivals, he added.
Nevertheless, the moves are likely to be carefully examined by competitors such as Apple. Apple and Samsung are engaged in a cut-throat battle to dominate the smartphone market. But it also buys many of the components that go in to its iPhone from the Korean conglomerate.
In separate news, Samsung Electronics confirmed that it would invest £1.2bn in new facilities to produce mobile processors.
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